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Great Goalie Battle V17.3 Unsurprisingly Ends in One-Goal Game: Red Wings Win 3-2 in Overtime

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NHL: New York Rangers at Detroit Red Wings Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It snowed today in Detroit, and you know what that means! No, not Christmas, turn off the Jingle Bells, they have to wait their turn!! No, it’s inching towards Thanksgiving, you know, the real one, which means we’re getting closer to finding out if the Red Wings’ chances of making the playoffs this year are truly dead in the water on the ice due to the mystical powers of a food-themed holiday.

First Period:

Well it certainly wasn’t looking great as there was an early penalty for the Red Wings, with Mike Green going to the box for an accidental tripping call 25 seconds in. Chris Kreider, who is known for his impeccable manners, flipped the puck into the net behind Howard well after the whistle blew for an icing, which the Red Wings weren’t overly pleased with. The Rangers did get a nice series of connected passes during the middle of the power play, but it didn’t lead to anything.

Detroit is fortunate to remain scoreless five minutes in as a super-yikes giveaway by Tyler Bertuzzi in the middle of the defensive zone nearly led to Pavel Buchnevich scoring in close with Mika Zibanejad on the doorstep of the crease to go for the rebound. In fact, the Wings are lucky to be scoreless five-and-a-half minutes in as Kreider was waiting unchecked for a rebound of his own that Jimmy Howard was able to slide over to block.

Back to the penalty kill as Darren Helm flung the puck out of play, resulting in the dreaded auto-DOG. Remember when the Red Wings were guaranteed to take that penalty once already down a man for some chintzy hooking call? Ahh, those were the days.

Justin Abdelkader and Frans Nielsen ended up on a shorthanded 2-on-1.5 that luckily saw Nielsen take the shot instead of trying to make a pass. Abdelkader got tied up with the two Rangers at the front of the net, and decided that getting into a shoving match with his teammates literally as far away from him as possible was a good idea. I mean, I don’t wear a letter for a professional hockey team, but I doubt his judgment here.

Another save by Howard when his teammates can’t seem to keep the pucks on their sticks. This time it was Andreas Athanasiou that lost his handle on it that nearly led to a goal. I’m sensing a pattern here, and it’s not argyle.

I was just looking up to check the shot numbers (8-3 NYR at this point) when Nielsen rang a puck off the far post. It was probably the most dangerous look the Wings have had so far tonight, and of course it doesn’t even count for anything.

Dylan Larkin brought the puck inside the Rangers’ zone and was able to make a cross-ice pass over to Anthony Mantha, but no meatballs were served as Mo wasn’t able to get the sauce he wanted on it.

I was 16:20-into-this-game-years-old when I learned that Vladislav Namestnikov plays for the Rangers. Did Tampa Bay trade him there so that Martin St. Louis would stop saying he likes New York better?

The first came to a close with the score still 0-0, somehow. I’m going to try writing this a third different way: it was fortuitous that the home team in red had not allowed the visiting team in blue to score a point by the end of the opening time division because they maybe were playing with rubber hockey sticks.

Shots: 11-6 Rangers
Score: 0-0 tie

Second Period:

I’m not sure if Ken Daniels was talking about Henrik Lundqvist’s career statistics as a strategy to make him give up an early goal, but it didn’t work. On the other side of the ice, Howard was still showing off his Big Jimmy Energy as he was able to turn away a breakaway by Brett Howden, who is definitely a computer generated AI.

Buchnevich and Namestnikov had a 2-on-1 chance with Dennis Cholowski back that ended with the puck rebounding into the slot in prime picking position. Still no score as the Rangers weren’t able to capitalize.

I always feel like I don’t have as much to say during the second period. Of course, just as I typed this, Michael Rasmussen was able to get to a free puck and end up flipping it up and over Lundqvist’s pad, but it was called off before he officially scored because the linesman blew the whistle on what he thought was a hand pass. A second look showed that Gustav Nyquist faked an attempt to play the puck and it actually went off a Ranger’s stick and into the offensive zone, which made the play perfectly legal. Unfortunately, the Goose was just too tricksy and the goal wasn’t allowed to stand and it couldn’t be challenged.

Cholowski nearly made up for the lost goal when he took a pass through the slot from Athanasiou, but he wired his shot over the net. Boooo.

The Red Wings finally headed to their first power play of the night as Luke Glendening drew a call for holding. They were in their own zone literally eight seconds into the man advantage because of course. Then when back in the offensive zone, they got a rebound out to Lundqvist’s right side that not one, but two Red Wings were unable to get their sticks with the New York goalie sprawling. Just over a minute into the PP, Lundqvist crossed the Ts in “not today” when he made a flashy glove save.

Overall, a disappointing power play as the Red Wings continued their sloppy habits, seemingly unprepared for their special teams time.

Back to the other special team as Jacob de la Rose smacked Kevin Hayes in the face with a high stick for a double minor. Not ideal, if I’m honest.

Kevin Shattenkirk finally broke the scoreless tie with 2:56 left in the double minor with his first goal of the season, a wrister that Howard couldn’t see with Jimmy Vesey blocking his sightlines. Rangers stay on the power play because of the double minor, and they score again 40 seconds later as Helm accidentally redirected a Neal Pionk shot to slip past his goalie. Conspiracy: de la Rose is actually still working for Montreal on the DL, this was all planned. I’ve heard our neighbors up north are good at the long con.

Shots: 23-18 Rangers
Score: 2-0 New York

Third Period:

Zibanejad nearly made it 3-0 early in the third as he was able to cut through the Wings’ defense and right up to the goal mouth for a dangerous chance. Continued yikes, my friends.

Instead, the Red Wings cut their deficit in half as Nyquist took the puck away from former Wing Brendan Smith at the side fo the Rangers net, just to slip it over to Abdelkader for the goal. I’d actually like to talk about that takeaway a second: it reminds me a bit of two famous Pavel Datsyuk moves that coincidentally were both made against the Predators. If you’re anything like me, you know them by heart: this one from 2010 and this one from the 2012 playoffs.

We learned that the Wings’ bench was now down a man as de la Rose was out for the rest of the game. He had one 17-second shift after his double minor penalty at the end of the second period, but it wasn’t clear what forced him to leave the contest other than that it was an upper-body injury.

This had the feeling of a game that the Wings would start to press late and try for that tying goal, which ends up with the other team either scoring instead or immediately after Detroit ties it. Now taking bets, and no cheating from the future!

Time was ticking down and I was definitely thinking it was going to be the former, as the Wings were actually getting dangerous chances and were rushing the net.

Of course, I had to immediately eat crow, as #GreecedLightning Athanasiou took advantage of a delayed penalty situation to speed in through the left side of the offensive zone, cross in front of Lundqvist and slip it underneath his left pad.

AND THEN Larkin got his stick slashed out of his hand with 1:49 to go. Goodness, I wasn’t even able to finish what I was typing before ALL OF THE THINGS HAPPENED.

And now to overtime we go!

Overtime:

Weird start to OT as the teams essentially start 4-on-4 as the penalty to Buchnevich expired. 2014 only made a return for 41 seconds before a whistle, so now we’re back to the heart-pounding 3-on-3 hockey that we love and our cardiologists hate.

Larkin came in with the puck as it turned into a 3-on-2 for the Wings, which saw Larkin pass and then get it back for a shot that he sent wide. Namestnikov took a shot that I think may have been a tip attempt by Kevin Hayes, but I couldn’t see the number all that well.

Lundqvist bobbled a puck that allowed the Wings a little bit more zone time, but that chance ended with Danny DeKeyser getting his shot blocked.

With a minute or so left, Nyquist took a turnover in the slot and had a chance for a backhander to end it, but he waited for some inEXPLICABLE REASON WHY GOOSE WHY?!

Anyway, Rangers ice it. 39.8 seconds left. Wings can’t keep it in the zone and then can’t get to their rebounds.

THEN WITH 5.1 SECONDS LEFT OUR BEAUTIFUL SON DYLAN LARKIN TAKES A PASS FROM ANDREAS ATHANASIOU AND SMACKS IT PAST LUNDQVIST FOR THE WIN!!

(also Lundqvist smashed his stick over the crossbar HAHA)

That’s three, count ‘em, THREE unanswered goals in the third to come back and win it, with Athanasiou making a huge impact in his return from injury and Larkin scoring his seventh goal of the season. Beautiful, gorgeous hockey from 71 and 72 tonight.

Final Shots: 31-30 Red Wings
Final Score: 3-2 OT Detroit

Final Thoughts:

  • Swedes are seen as so mild-mannered and polite and then you get Henrik Lundqvist who actively and creatively plots the murder of all of his teammates.
  • Danny DeKeyser went to catch a puck along the boards and throw it back into play, but he ended up completely missing, which turned into an icing call in Detroit’s favor. So, nice job Danny boy, keep up the good work?
  • Here’s another conspiracy for you: Mickey Redmond goes down between the benches for the third period because he and Ken Daniels are having broadcaster problems and are trialing separation instead of just trying to strangle each other coughTigerscough
  • The ice was just kind of weird all night and I know that some of the Wings’ struggles were probably due to poor rink conditions. Cue extra salty curly fries since we didn’t have this much consistent trouble when we didn’t constantly have to switch between hockey and basketball.
  • John Keating talked about how the Wings were starting to find their legs right around the time the Rasmussen non-goal happened. I want to know who’s responsible for taking hockey players’ body parts and hiding them when they’re about to play a game. I mean, why else would they always be not ready to start on time?
  • It’s ironic that there’s a pen-and-paper section of the concussion protocol that apparently involves math. I imagine the questions are something like this: Your opponent has just thrown an illegal check to your head. They will be fined the $5,000, the maximum allowed under the CBA. If they make $6.125 million per year, what percent of their paycheck have they lost that will definitely teach them a lesson?
  • On a more serious note, it looks like the NHL is finally coming to a settlement in the concussion lawsuit, and it’s absurdly insulting. Each complainant in the class action suit is going to be getting just $22,000 for years of suffering that the league refuses to admit is caused by the violence of the sport. Remember that we here at WIIM are going to be taking donations for the Concussion Legacy Foundation through our annual Charity Challenge. Learn more and sign up to contribute here.